Recently Khabib Nurmagomedov’s manager irked many hardcore fans by saying there’s zero chance his client will battle Tony Ferguson next. But, a recent comment the UFC’s lightweight champ made could indicate that bout’s still on the table.
Ever since Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October, there’s been widespread calls in the MMA world for “The Eagle” to finally, fight Ferguson. In fact, since Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been scheduled to fight several times before, and because they’re two of the best fighters in the game, interest in seeing the two battle is nothing new.
Thus, these recent comments from Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz, didn’t sit well with a lot of folks (quote via MMA Fighting):
“The biggest money fight he can make. At the end of the day, Khabib doesn’t need to fight anybody else for his legacy. He’s done what he’s done. He’s 27-0, he’s 12-0 in the UFC, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been caught, he’s never been knocked down. Let’s talk about a GOAT. No PEDs. We talk about the greatest of all-time, I think that he should be on top of the list, because he never lost to anybody. He’s never lost, he’s never been dropped, he’s never been stitched, nothing.
“So [we want] the biggest money fight he can make. Boxing, MMA, whatever. I love Tony Ferguson — he’s not that, I can tell you that. One-hundred percent, Tony Ferguson is not the next fight, because Tony Ferguson — I need somebody who can sell pay-per-views. At the end of the day, it will be the exact same situation. Khabib was supposed to fight Eddie Alvarez, remember that? When he got taken out [in place of Conor McGregor], we understood it because Conor’s going to bring pay-per-views. We need people who can help us sell pay-per-views, and that’s it.”
Those comments didn’t go over well, not only because a lot of folks really want to see Nurmagomedov and Ferguson fight, but because the champ has talked about how a real title fight would involve him and “El Cucuy”.
Well, a fan recently voiced his displeasure with Abdelaziz’s comments to Khabib, and the galaxy class grappler responded:
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) January 7, 2019
So, does this mean that Nurmagomedov – Ferguson is going to happen? No. But one could certainly infer from Khabib’s statement he is indeed, still interested in fighting the former interim champ. There’s also a chance that Abdelaziz made those comments as a means to ensure Khabib receives more money upfront for a bout with Ferguson.